Amongst the major London openings - in the West End and further afield - this week are:

OPENING TONIGHT, Monday 7 September 2009, Irish stand-up Ed Byrne presents his latest show Different Class at the Vaudeville Theatre (See News, 4 Jun 2009). Byrne’s previous stand-up shows include Pedantic and Whimsical, and he’s been seen on TV in Father Ted, The Graham Norton Show, Live at the Apollo and as a regular panellist on Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You.

ALSO TONIGHT, Brian Cox performs Richard Nelson’s monologue adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s classic and controversial study of obsession Lolita at the NT Lyttelton, for three performances only (7, 14, 21 September).


OPENING TUESDAY, 8 September 2009 (previews from 3 September), Simon Stephens' new play, Punk Rock, centring on a group of disaffected youths, opens at the Lyric Hammersmith, directed by Sarah Frankcom (See News, 3 Jun 2009). The production is the first in Sean Holmes’ inaugural season as artistic director, and continues until 26 September prior to a transfer to Manchester’s Royal Exchange on 7 October.

ALSO ON TUESDAY, Pippa Cleary & Jake Brunger's new musical, The Great British Soap Opera, set behind the scenes of a fictional soap opera, transfers direct from the Edinburgh Fringe to the Jermyn Street theatre for a strictly limited two-week run.

** DON’T MISS the chance to get tickets to THE GREAT BRITISH SOAP OPERA for only £8!! – offer valid 8-10 September 2009 - click here for details! **


OPENING WEDNESDAY, 9 September 2009 (previews from 4 September), the Arts Theatre presents Catwalk Confidential, Robyn Peterson's one-woman confessional about her career as one of the most successful models of the 1970s, who "paved the way for fashionista chic". For four weeks only.

** DON’T MISS the chance to get top-price tickets to CATWALK CONFIDENTIAL for only £10!! – offer ends 11 September 2009 - click here for details! **


OPENING THURSDAY, 10 September 2009 (previews from 3 September), Christopher Hampton adapts Odon von Horvath’s Judgment Day at the Almeida Theatre. The play, directed by James Macdonald, uses the allegory of a devastating train crash to examine a society that refuses to take responsibility for its actions, continuing until 17 October.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 8 September), Victoria’s Above the Stag venue presents the steamy Bathhouse the Musical. The show, written by Esther Daack and Tim Evanicki, is billed as containing “adult themes, language, and scantily clad men”, and continues until 11 October.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (preview 9 September), verbatim drama Stockwell, about the 2005 shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, transfers to the Tricycle Theatre following its premiere last month at the Landor Theatre (See News, 18 Aug 2009). Drawn from the transcripts of last year's inquest into the case, it's directed by Sophie Lifschutz and continues to 20 September.

ALSO ON THURSDAY (previews from 8 September), two plays open at the Old Red Lion - Benjamin Cooper's 'Til I Die, about the friendship between two football hooligans (starring Patricia Quinn), and Jakob Holder's Bedtime Solos, centring on a couple during an evening of physical intimacy. They run nightly, at 7.30pm and 9.30pm, until 26 September.


OPENING FRIDAY, 11 September 2009 (previews from 9 September), the Arcola Theatre revives David Mamet's The Shawl, about the manipulative relationship between a troubled woman and a silver-tongued amateur psychic. Amelia Nicholson directs a cast featuring Elizabeth McGovern, Matthew Marsh and Paul Rattray. Until 3 October.


OPENING SUNDAY, 13 September 2009 (previews from 4 September), The Shawshank Redemption opens at Wyndham's Theatre (See News, 1 Jul 2009). Based on Stephen King’s 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, which also inspired the acclaimed 1994 Hollywood film starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, the production premiered at Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre back in May.

It stars American actors Kevin Anderson and Reg E Cathey, who lead the 20-strong cast as Andy Dufresne and Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding, two prison inmates who develop a life-long friendship after the former, a banker, is wrongly incarcerated for the murder of his wife. Adapted by comedian-actors Owen O’Neill and Dave Johns, and directed by Peter Sheridan, it's initially booking until 14 February 2010.

** DON’T MISS our Whatsonstage.com Outing to THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION on 9 September 2009 – inc a FREE programme, drink & post-show Q&A - all for only £30!! - click here for details **